Another Anti-Gun Overreaction

| January 29, 2013

Seems a young man in Ohio was recently arrested for a photo posted on Facebook.

The photo showed him holding his 1-year-old daughter and a “scary” gun at the same time.

Allegedly, the baby’s grandmother got wind of the photo and alerted authorities.  The local police came and arrested the guy – for child endangerment.

This appears to be the photo.  Note  that the “scary” gun is (1) not pointed at the child, (2) is pointed away from both child and father, and (3) there’s no finger on the trigger.  Frankly, I don’t see any evidence of  “endangerment” in the photo.  Stupidity, poor judgement, perhaps – but not endangerment.

It gets even better.  It turns out the gun in question was a freaking BB-gun.

Yes, that’s right:  the cops actually went to a guy’s house and arrested him over a picture of him holding his child and a toy at the same time.  Why?  Because that “toy” looked like one of those “scary” guns.  I wonder if they’d have arrested him if it had been a plastic sword or a hammer?  Both of those can be lethal to a small child.

I don’t fault the cops for checking into this once it was reported.  And yeah – the guy should have probably put the BB pistol down for the picture.

But an arrest for “child endangerment”?  Give me a freaking break.  A quick interview and a look at the “scary gun” involved – plus a dose of common sense – was what was called for here.  Not an arrest for what was obviously a non-crime.

Normally, we talk about “stupid criminal tricks”.  Well, maybe we should file this one under “stupid cop tricks.”

I wonder if any conservative lawyers in Ohio might have time for a bit of pro bono work.  Based on the photo and other facts reported so far, IMO it’s at least possible there might be a wrongful arrest suit in there somewhere.


Correction:  the original version of this story indicated that the ex-wife was the individual who alerted authorities.  In fact, it appears she showed the picture to her mother – the baby’s grandmother – who is the one who actually alerted local authorities.

Category: "Teh Stoopid", Gun Grabbing Fascists, Guns

Comments (20)

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  1. A Proud Infidel says:

    It looks like the local PD in that town has nothing to do other than cater to vengeful exes!

  2. Twist says:

    “ex-wife” says it all.

  3. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    He’s an idiot. That baby IS a baby. Grandma probably had other reasons for taking the action she did. We don’t know what other factors were involved here. It’s like getting pulled over by a cop. If you have a clean record, didn’t commit some egregious traffic offense (e.g., blowing by a a stopped school bus), and you don’t act like a jerk, you usually get a wraning. Add the other factors, and you will get a different result.

  4. Sgt Awesome says:

    He has dark skin, has a gun, and appears to be wearing some kind of a man-dress. Is that a copy of the Koran underneath his bed there??

    Shoot on sight!!!!

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    Well, what he did was just plain stupid. Why didn’t he put down that pellet gun before he put the kid on his lap?

  6. Old Tanker says:

    Okay, it was pretty stupid but when did that become a crime? If stupidity was a crime there would be nobody left to vote for Obama…

  7. Hondo says:

    Old Tanker: agreed. Bad judgement is in general not a criminal offense. Otherwise, all of us would likely have done time at some point.

  8. Old Tanker says:

    Roger that Hondo!

  9. PintoNag says:

    Ex-wife sees pic of ex-husband holding baby and gun. How many stories have we heard lately of men killing their ex’s and kids? Without knowing the family involved, the cops may have perceived an implied threat to the baby and/or the baby’s mother in that photo.

    I question the reason behind putting a photo like that on a social medium. Stupidity is a possibility. Aggression is another.

  10. Hondo says:

    Pinto Nag: other sites have a video interview with the mother. Even she indicates that the incident was blown way out of proportion, and that she feels the child was never in any danger. She also didn’t seem to be badly disposed towards the father during the interview.

    Other accounts support the father’s contention that the kid was handed to him for a quick photo while he was playing with his nephews. Yeah, it was probably stupid to take the photo while holding a toy gun and post it on Facebook. But it appears to be more of a “I just wasn’t thinking” moment than any kind of implied threat.

    I don’t have any issue with the cops checking into things once the photo was brought to their attention. I do have a problem with them grossly overreacting and arresting someone for behavior that even a 10-min cursory investigation should have shown was simply not criminal.

    Frankly I’m thinking this is a case of a meddling grandmother who’s still pissed that her “baby” got pregnant and used this as a chance to “get even” with the father.

  11. B Woodman says:

    #10 Hondo,
    Yep, gran’ma just lost all visiting privileges.

  12. Old Trooper says:

    Common sense is an uncommon commodity.

  13. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    According to news accounts, Baby Momma is 17 and Baby Momma boyfriend, Domonic Gaines, is 22. Gaines’ father, Wilson Dykes (don’t ask me, I don’t know), is the one who said the deal was blown out of proportion. Baby Momma says it was a joke. Go ahead and saint them all if you want. I’m saving the halos for others.

  14. CC Senor says:

    And locally we have this. I’m still trying to figure out why the air rifle was confiscated.

  15. Hondo says:

    2/17 Air Cav: not trying to make anyone out here to be a saint, amigo. There’s plenty of bad judgement and/or stupidity to go around in this matter.

    However, there’s quite a difference between a brief lapse in judgement and “endangering the welfare of a child”. And the police should be expected to have the common sense to know the difference between a minor, non-criminal lapse in judgement and a situation rising to the level of prosecutable child endangerment. Here, they absolutely did not.

    Here’s a quote from the kid’s mom:

    “What happened was my baby’s father, Domonic, took a picture of my daughter and him sitting down with a BB gun and my mother, Sylvia Price, called the news and called the police saying my daughter was in danger, but she wasn’t,” Price said. “The gun was fake. It was a BB gun. It wasn’t loaded or nothing. My daughter was in no kind of danger whatsoever and it got turned into something it wasn’t supposed to be.”

    That quote is from the video posted here:

    The kid’s mom apparently now lives in Wyoming. Perhaps that explains why she seems to have more common sense than that Ohio township’s cops.

  16. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Hondo. I saw that video and I saw the one claiming to be the ONLY one that was able to talk with the guy’s father. They weren’t the same TV station. I just got pissed, that’s all. I know no one is doling out halos, at least here. I’m not backtracking, jus’ ‘splain’. I don’t know why the police did what they did in arresting him. I do strongly suspect, however, that there’s more to this than just the grandmother’s purported complaint. I won’t speculate because I don’t want the CRACK TAH LEGAL TEAM to have to issue an anti-apology apology, however much I enjoyed its first and only.

  17. Hondo says:

    2/17 Air Cav: fair enough. And I agree – there could well be more to the story than has been reported so far.

    That said: there are some police out there who act more like petty tyrants than LEOs, forgetting that their mission is “to protect and serve” the public vice “to reign and rule over” them. IMO it just seems like a couple of guys on that local force could be getting dangerously close to the latter. I could easily be wrong.

  18. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    The alleged child endangerer isn’t Public Enemy #1. For that matter, he’s not Public Enemy 1,000,000,000 either. Ohio has an online court records system and, although he’s in it multiple times, it’s petty traffic stuff with one VERY minor non-traffic charge. So, there you go–or, there I go, as it were.

  19. FatCircles0311 says:

    I hope this guy sues the utter piss out of this law enforcement department.

  20. Ex-PH2 says:

    Hondo, the police over-react to things regularly now. This incident of shooting two dogs fighting in the back of a pickup truck is not a solo incident:

    This seems to be happening a lot.